×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Smart Elevators Coming to Seattle

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the sim-tower-needed-this dept.

Technology 364

coaxial writes "Fujitec has unveiled a new elevator system for Seattle's Metropolitan Park West Tower. The new system uses touchpanels to group users by destination. Riders may wait slightly longer for the proper car, but the overall ride is shortened because the car stops less."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

364 comments

Sweet Zarquon (5, Funny)

American AC in Paris (230456) | more than 8 years ago | (#14491951)

You know, down is nice...

Re:Sweet Zarquon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14491988)

Beat me to it.

+5, Obligatory HHGG Reference.

Re:Sweet Zarquon (1)

jurt1235 (834677) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492179)

There just was no other option as a comment on this article. I was already looking for the guide to get the quote 100% right.

Re:Sweet Zarquon (5, Funny)

gold23 (44621) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492398)

My sole reason for clicking on this article was to see how far down the page I would need to go to get to the HHGG Sirius Cybernetics Corp. reference.

Thank you for not making me scroll at all.

Real World may hold surprises (4, Insightful)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 8 years ago | (#14491962)

From TFA:
"One lady walked up to the kiosk, and I told her to enter her floor number, and she said, 'That's ridiculous,' " said Tim Mooney, Fujitec's west regional vice president, who was in Seattle for the launch.

The real-world functionality of this system should be an interesting battle between computer-simulated idealism and human greed. Ideally, everyone will be happy if their overall travel time decreases. But in reality, each one of the riders wants to have the fastest possible time all to himself, to heck with averages. The easiest way to game the system might be to simply enter your floor number over and over, to fool the computer into thinking there's an increased demand for that floor. Voila, private elevator!

It's almost like a test case for the collapse of communism. If everyone simply gave according to their abilities and received according to their needs, everyone would get to work sooner. But as soon as one guy punches his floor a dozen times and gets his private car delivered, the whole darned thing breaks down.

Or to put it another way, in Soviet Russia, Elevator calls YOU!

Re:Real World may hold surprises (4, Funny)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492001)

No, it would work the same way as the elevators do now. The more you press the button, the faster it comes. :)

Re:Real World may hold surprises (5, Insightful)

yobjob (942868) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492164)

You actually bring up a good point - what's to stop a single user from registering 10 full lifts worth of demand for his own stop by repeatedly entering the destination floor at the kiosk? Maybe if sensors are installed in the doorway, it can estimate how many people leave the elevator at a floor, and compare that to the demand originally registered at the kiosk. The predictive logic software could then learn which floor has the highest number of selfish arseholes, and adjust their service accordingly :)

Re:Real World may hold surprises (1)

johndierks (784521) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492294)

I don't know how this system is built, but it seems reasonable to limit people from acting like a large group to get quicker service. If someone starts hitting their floor over and over again the system can stop assigning higher priority to a floor after a certain number of people going to that floor has been reached... say four. When the fifth person steps up and asks for that floor, he's told number for the elevator that's coming but the priority for the floor remains four. This way the impact of someone 'stuffing the ballot box' would decrease. You'll take a hit in efficiency overall, but it's probably smaller than if a few people act like a bunch of people.

Re:Real World may hold surprises (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14492312)

That's the way my girlfriend works.

Re:Real World may hold surprises (4, Funny)

Otter (3800) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492004)

The easiest way to game the system might be to simply enter your floor number over and over, to fool the computer into thinking there's an increased demand for that floor.

Heck, I do that now! The elevator definitely gets there faster!

Re:Real World may hold surprises (1)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492110)

Actually, what I'd expect is for people just to take the first elevator that comes. Regardless of it's destination. (And then, of course, complain when it doesn't stop at their floor!)

I see people all the time who hit both the down and up buttons on an elevator, just to get the car to come faster. Given that people don't wait for a two-state system to cycle to their state, why are they going to wait for a $floor_count state system?

This is a great idea, in theory. Tell me in a year how well it worked.

Re:Real World may hold surprises (1)

jridley (9305) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492288)

The only time I see people getting on a down elevator to go up is when they expect the car to get completely full on the main floor, and have no room when it stop back on the way up.

Re:Real World may hold surprises (1)

myth24601 (893486) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492310)

"I see people all the time who hit both the down and up buttons on an elevator, just to get the car to come faster."

I have never noticed this being successful really. The person that does this will usually end up screwing themselves since they will find that when they get on the elevator that is going the oposing direction that they will just end up going the wrong way. On the other hand, if there is only one elevator then it's not a total loss since they will just ride the wrong way before coming back.

Re:Real World may hold surprises (2, Insightful)

DavidTC (10147) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492361)

I see people all the time who hit both the down and up buttons on an elevator, just to get the car to come faster.

And what do these people do when they are trying to go down, but get into an up elevator and have to ride up 30 floors before it turns around?

As a funny aside, if there were five people doing this on different floors in a row, and, say, one person going down five floors above them who doesn't do this, along with a person next to them going up, they'd all get on the up elevator, which would slowly collect them all and move upward. Meanwhile, the down elevator goes all the way up and collects people downward...except they already left on the up elevator by the time it gets there..

I can't quite figure out the logic of getting on elevators going in the wrong direction:

If you're the only person using the elevator at all, you can, indeed, direct it wherever you want, but if you're the only person using it, you might as well get it going in the right direction.

If there is heavy use in direction you want, all the elevators will be going that way, and you should punch the correct way.

If there is heavy use in the other direction, you certainly will get an elevator faster...and you certainly will have to go way out of your way, too.

Have these people not realized that if you get into an up elevator, and punch a direction that is down, it will do the upward stuff first? I mean, it seems like it would be pretty obvious.

Are you really pining for Communism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14492211)

Even though you've just completely nailed it's utter failure to account for human nature?

If everyone simply gave according to their abilities and received according to their needs, everyone would get to work sooner.

Of course, then we'd all be ants and not human beings.

Your statement comes across as awfully nostalgic for an utter failure of an economic system that resulted in literally millions of deaths by starvation alone - let alone the way it gave totalitarianism a really simple way to dupe useful idiots.

Re:Are you really pining for Communism (1)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492264)

Your statement comes across as awfully nostalgic for an utter failure of an economic system that resulted in literally millions of deaths by starvation alone - let alone the way it gave totalitarianism a really simple way to dupe useful idiots

I'll try not to complain about your utter lack of actually reading my post. What I want to know is this:

1) I know how to dupe a useful story. Just submit it to Slashdot late at night. But how do you dupe a useful idiot?

2) Where can I find these "useful idiots", anyway? Enquiring minds want to know! I bet their names start with "Anonymous" and end with "Coward".

Felon Car coming right up! (4, Funny)

0110011001110101 (881374) | more than 8 years ago | (#14491965)

"The predictive logic in our software acts like neurons in our body, parking (the elevators) at certain floors, knowing where the demand might be at certain times."

Hmmm, I smell an upgrade coming.. incorporate fingerprint scanning software into the touchpad.. and send an elevator car full of convicted felons crashing to the earth...

*EXCELLENT*

Re:Felon Car coming right up! (1)

Ryanwoodings (60314) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492044)

Didn't anyone watch "Down" with the killer Manhattan elevator made from shark brains? These smart elevators are dangerous!!!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0247303/plotsummary>

You answer the post immediately above. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14492138)

The post above wondered what would happen if someone tried to game the system by pushing the button a dozen times to attempt to get a car all to himself.

I see the fingerprint detector as being good for national security. We could have a 'do not elevate list'. The corporate president could find his name on this the same way Ted Kennedy found himself (ok someone with the same name but the effect was the same) on the no fly list.

Oh God... (5, Funny)

john83 (923470) | more than 8 years ago | (#14491976)

Next, they'll give it a personality. A cheerful personality.

At this rate, Douglas Adams will overtake Clarke as the SF writer who predicts the future.

Re:Oh God... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14492116)

God I hate it when people try to program machines to be nice! The example that sticks out in my mind is the stupid self serve checkouts that have popped up all over the place here. They try to talk you through using them. They have the most annoying computer generated voice that says things like "Please rescan item." .... Cut the chit chat! Don't try to make machines nice just make a green light and a bell that goes "ding" when an item has been scanned.

Re:Oh God... (1)

john83 (923470) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492226)

I was in LA once. I went to an ATM to get some money.

"Would you like another transaction?"
My options:
"No thanks"
"Sure!"
Sure? What happened to "yes"?

Re:Oh God... (1)

hattig (47930) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492261)

We've got those checkouts too.

Grrr!

And it isn't a nice ding. It is a loud machine beep. I want a nice happy 'ding!' sound.

And it complains too often about not putting the item in the bag. Please put the item in the bag. It's in the fucking bag, bitch! That, or 'please pack your items, and continue scanning'.

And there's no cute checkout girl to check out either.

However nobody else likes using them, so they're always empty when the checkout queues are still very long. I still feel like I'm doing a job that someone else should be doing though :(

Re:Oh God... (1)

teklob (650327) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492326)

I can see the headline now:
Chronically Depressed Elevator Commits Murder-Suicide
Fifteen CEO's In Critical Condition

Finally! (4, Funny)

scovetta (632629) | more than 8 years ago | (#14491986)

It's so good to be alive these days. The hours I spend each day riding up to the 9th floor of my building could be exchanged for time spent waiting on the ground floor with dozens of other (now happy) travelers.

Thank you, Smart Elevator Company!

Waiting (5, Insightful)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 8 years ago | (#14491990)

"Riders may wait slightly longer for the proper car"
To me, once you're riding time appears to go by quickly, it's the waiting for the damn thing in the first place that's frustrating.

Human nature I suppose.

Re:Waiting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14492129)

I find the same applies to waiting for elevators too.

Re:Waiting (2, Insightful)

Politburo (640618) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492135)

Not true in taller buildings when you're going to/from the upper floors and you have to stop at every. damn. floor. on the way up/down.

Re:Waiting (1)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492410)

Just get a continues elevator. It would even improve Darwinism some by killing of users that fail to operate it.

Hey, that's my idea! More things to consider... (5, Interesting)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492003)

Way back in the day I used to do some IT work for a company that made elevator buttons for the big elevator companies. It was one of the oddest companies you had ever seen.

I used to ask them why the basic "up/down" button was never replaced with a better control system -- you could request the floor you wanted to go to on the outside of the elevator instead of the inside. Sure it would cost more (needing buttons at every floor) but you could prioritize the elevator's path, saving money and time in the long run.

They told me it would never happen -- elevators would always be as they were. I guess he was mostly right, since it is now 10 years later and we still have up/down buttons, long waits, and no real efficiency in destination planning. I actually used to consider about once a year writing a paper on sorting the elevator destinations real time based on where people were and where they would be heading.

I'm surprised it finally happened.

A few things I wish elevators had (some jokingly just out of frustration):

1. On/off toggle. The idiot that hits the call button ten times would only toggle the button on and off 5 times. Let him wait, I hate the clicking sound.

2. On/off toggle in the elevator. Have you had the kid hit 10 buttons? I have. Many times. Have you had some idiot hit a few buttons by accident? I get it every week. Not that I'm in a rush, but come on, think before you hit a button.

3. Early elevator arrival notification. Tell me which elevator will be the one I'll be entering. I've been in some buildings where I'll miss 3 elevators because they don't notify you which one to wait by. Maybe they do this to prevent people from crowding the doors, but I'd rather people learn etiquette than have the crazy rushes you see in some Chicago lobbies.

4. VIP floor access. Pay $1 and get to your floor immediately.

5. BING muting. Have you been in these elevators that have to BING at every floor, even when you're going to the 33rd from the 1st? Yeesh, give me a mute button.

6. Free spray deodarant in each elevator. Talk about needing to teach people etiquette.

Re:Hey, that's my idea! More things to consider... (2, Insightful)

Politburo (640618) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492085)

5. BING muting. Have you been in these elevators that have to BING at every floor, even when you're going to the 33rd from the 1st? Yeesh, give me a mute button.

The dings aren't for you. Be glad that you can fucking see.

Re:Hey, that's my idea! More things to consider... (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492173)

I should be glad that we have technology to replace the BING for people who can't "fucking" see. How about just anouncing the floor number before the elevator stops?

33 floors, 33 bings?

Or 33 floors, no bings, and "You've arrived at 17."

You're right, I'm glad I'm not blind, those bings would still drive me nuts.

Re:Hey, that's my idea! More things to consider... (3, Insightful)

Politburo (640618) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492233)

How about just anouncing the floor number before the elevator stops?

How about putting an overly complex electronics system into what is a simple mechanical device? The ding can be triggered by simple mechanical means. KISS. I'm sure you'd bitch a lot more when the elevator had to be taken out of service to troubleshoot the voice system.

Re:Hey, that's my idea! More things to consider... (2, Insightful)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492248)

A voice system is complex? My neighbor had a Halloween pumpkin that said 50 different phrases in gorgeous clarity that he paid around $10 for at the drug store.

Sorry, but I don't buy it. In fact, I bet in 10 years the bing WILL be gone. Voice response makes more sense than trying to count bings.

Re:Hey, that's my idea! More things to consider... (2, Insightful)

Politburo (640618) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492251)

Also not to mention the matter of language. 33 isn't "Thirty-Three" in every language. But 33 dings is 33 in any language.

Re:Hey, that's my idea! More things to consider... (1)

Foerstner (931398) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492402)

"This is the thirty-third floor. Going up."

They actually had one of these in a building I worked in. It was only in the freight elevator, and it wasn't a very tall building.

But then, there's the morning rush.

"This is the second floor. Going up."
"This is the third floor. Going up."
"This is the fourth floor. Going up." ...

Talk about annoying.

Re:Hey, that's my idea! More things to consider... (0, Flamebait)

Politburo (640618) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492371)

Flamebait my ass. I'm fucking sick of people who bitch about things that are put in place to help our disabled neighbors.

Re:Hey, that's my idea! More things to consider... (4, Informative)

generic-man (33649) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492100)

I think the BING sounds are for the benefit of blind riders, who can count the number of BINGs to determine which floor they're on. The same goes for the one-BING-for-up, two-BING-for-down tones that accompany each door opening.

Re:Hey, that's my idea! More things to consider... (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492105)

I really like the Idea of the On/Off toggle. This would come in useful, when people decide to take the stairs. They could be courteous and turn it off, or motion/heat sensors could detect if the person left. This would also be nice inside the elevator, when you happen to press the wrong button. I think eliminating stops that aren't even needed would speed up the elevators much more than all this smart elevator stuff.

BING muting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14492113)

>5. BING muting. Have you been in these elevators that have to BING at every floor, even when you're going to the 33rd from the 1st? Yeesh, give me a mute button.

They probably can't do this. Blind people need to count the BINGs to know what floor they're at.

Re:BING muting (1)

generic-man (33649) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492185)

I agree with you and also replied to the parent's comment, but why not have an elevator that verbally announces the floor you're on, like elevator operators do? It doesn't seem like it would be that hard to have a recording "Third floor, housewares, bridal registry" play every time the doors open on the third floor.

Re:Hey, that's my idea! More things to consider... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14492126)

5. BING muting. Have you been in these elevators that have to BING at every floor, even when you're going to the 33rd from the 1st? Yeesh, give me a mute button.

So your blind coworkers won't know when to get off? Those bings are there for a reason (not just to annoy you).

Re:Hey, that's my idea! More things to consider... (2, Insightful)

MiKM (752717) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492140)

7. A button to temporarily override that godawful buzzing sound if the door is left open too long.

Re:Hey, that's my idea! More things to consider... (1)

Politburo (640618) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492296)

Many elevators have an on/off switch. It's usually labelled as "Emergency Stop" or "Run/Stop" so most people don't use it, but it's just a glorified on/off.

Re:Hey, that's my idea! More things to consider... (1)

inoyb (30257) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492182)

5. BING muting. Have you been in these elevators that have to BING at every floor, even when you're going to the 33rd from the 1st? Yeesh, give me a mute button.

I believe this is for the blind, so that they can count what floor the elevator is currently on. To keep things fair, should we also include a button which turns out the lights? :)

Re:Hey, that's my idea! More things to consider... (5, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492370)

  • On/off toggle in the elevator. It's a standard Otis option, but it's not ordered much.
  • Early elevator arrival notification. Tell me which elevator will be the one I'll be entering. It's common to have lobby level "This car up" signs, controlled by the dispatching system. But above the lobby level, it's rare.
  • VIP floor access That's more common than you might think. It's called a "priority hall call station" in the elevator industry, and is usually an RFID or swipe card reader.

Waiting to get on the car... (1, Redundant)

FrontalLobe (897758) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492010)

Riders may wait slightly longer for the proper car, but the overall ride is shortened because the car stops less.

Hmmmm, everyone I've ever heard complain about elevators (myself included), its the standing around waiting for the car to arrive, not how many stops it makes...

Keep tryin'!

Oblig. Simpsons (2, Funny)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492015)

Homer approaches an elevator somewhere in the plant and pushes the down button.

Homer: Whew! I made it the whole day without seeing her again.
                [The elevator arrives and Homer gets in. The door closes and he notices he's crammed in with Mindy]
              Aah! I mean, hello!
Mindy: [awkward] Heh...I guess we'll be going down together -- I mean, getting off togeth -- I mean --
Homer: That's OK. I'll just push the button for the stimulator -- I mean, elevator.

Oblig. Family Guy (4, Insightful)

Radres (776901) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492324)

Stewie: "Yes, we all love 'Mr. Plow'! Oh, you've got the song memorized, do you? SO DOES EVERYONE ELSE! That is exactly the kind of idiot you see at Taco Bell at 1 in the morning!"

Seriously, just because there was a Simpsons about Homer riding in an elevator, does it necessitate quoting?

IF wait time floor stop time THEN Proceed (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492016)

But what we really want to know is does this 'smart elevator' prevent the annoying jackass from hitting all the floor buttons at the same time?
If so, this truly would be a wonderful invention.

That's the way they work here. (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492119)

If you hit every button, all the them go off.

It's been in practice for a while to keep the kids from being jerks.

Of course, they can hit all but 1 button. But when you get on, you just hit the other buttons until they all clear and then choose your floor.

Re:IF wait time floor stop time THEN Proceed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14492213)

> 'smart elevator' prevent the annoying jackass from hitting all the floor buttons at the same time?

I learned, that must be why they put the alarm button right in line with the floor buttons, so when you swipe the buttons with 2 fingers, you set the alarm also.

This is NOT New technology... (4, Informative)

RedLeg (22564) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492018)

The elevators in the Marriott Marquis on Times Square work exactly like this, and they have been there for a while.

--RED

Re:This is NOT New technology... (1)

JimDog (443171) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492115)

Yep, same with the elevators in the big office tower at 120 Kearny (aka One Montgomery) in San Francisco. They have also been there a while.

Re:This is NOT New technology... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14492137)

i have used the marriott marquis elevator system last summer and it was b0rken so badly. they even had one elevator with someone manning it to make sure things worked smoothly. the system never functioned as well as advertised. waits were very long. it did group people by floor so you had to scan which elevator (of many) was the one you needed and that was annoying too.

Re:This is NOT New technology... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14492387)

I'm staying in the Marquee as I write this, and I can say this is the stupidest system for elevators I've ever seen.

When it gets very busy, which is in theory when this system should be most effective, it breaks down completely. Here's what happens: All the people who are confused and tired of waiting for their elevator rush to any elevator that opens, not realizing it may not be going to their floor. Then the people who actually know how the system works can't get on their elevator, and have to rekey their floor and then be told to wait for a different elevator. And then the whole process repeats.

It is somewhat hilarious to watch people get on the elevator, reach for the non-existent floor buttons inside the car, then look around confused as the doors close and they are whisked off to some random floor nowhere near their destination.

wait time (2, Interesting)

vortigern00 (443602) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492028)

Actually, the wait time for an elevator will be shorter. However, because the user will not get to ride the first elevator whose door opens, the perceived wait time will be longer.

Re:wait time (1)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492200)

No, the trip time, including both waiting and riding, is shorter. Maybe enough shorter that both will reduce, but the emphasis is on reducing the riding time, in most cases.

best solution (4, Funny)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492046)

i think the best solution to this problem would be to upgrade it to web 2.0 using AJAX and an RSS/Atom feed.

Re:best solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14492192)

aaand someone doesnt get it.

heh (4, Funny)

Moby Cock (771358) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492048)

"One lady walked up to the kiosk, and I told her to enter her floor number, and she said, 'That's ridiculous,'

Apparently my mother-in-law was in Seattle this week.

Re:heh (1)

John Napkintosh (140126) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492323)

I'd like to know how that lady normally uses an elevator. If having to press a button corresponding to the floor at which you wish to arrive is "ridiculous", does she just stand in elevators waiting and hoping to arrive at the correct floor?

I'm wondering... (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492056)

The Destination Floor Guidance System...

Guidance system? Could it be they're planning to use elevators to launch guided missiles? Or perhaps launch people to exotic destinations? Or perhaps they mean guidance as in job placement. Can't you see some interviewee getting on and the elevator going "you don't want to work there."?

Really... (1)

GmAz (916505) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492062)

Sounds to me like the executives don't want to wait for their peons to get on and off the elevator. And what happens when someone from a certain floor needs to go to another floor to drop something off. Last time I checked, the elevator doesn't know what floor each person wants until they get in the elevator. I think people are going to get pissed having to wait at the elevator door then auctually being in the elevator.

I could imagine looking up at the numbers above the elevator door and watch them go down to the floor where I am waiting 19, 18, 17, 16, 17, 18, 17, 16, 15 (my floor), 14, 13, 14, 13, 12, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 15 DING. That would piss me off way more than being in the elevator and going in one direction stopping at each floor to let on/drop off people.

Re:Really... (1)

Politburo (640618) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492169)

It appears you didn't RTFA, but there's a simple solution nonetheless.. electrical tape over the external floor indicators. I've always thought that those things were torture anyway.. "It's at 5.. it's still at 5! What the fuck are they doing up on 5!! DAMMIT!!! I'll take the stairs.."

Re:Really... (1)

Cromac (610264) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492250)

Last time I checked, the elevator doesn't know what floor each person wants until they get in the elevator.

That's why they enter the floor they're going to before they get on the elevator with this system. There wouldn't be just a up/down button pair.

I could imagine looking up at the numbers above the elevator door and watch them go down to the floor where I am waiting 19, 18, 17, 16, 17, 18, 17, 16, 15 (my floor), 14, 13, 14, 13, 12, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 15 DING. That would piss me off way more than being in the elevator and going in one direction stopping at each floor to let on/drop off people.

I don't think most elevators have the floor indicator like that anymore, none of the buildings I've been in for a while have. You're right though, it would piss people off to see elevators skip their floor.

Where's my turbolift? (1)

JediTrainer (314273) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492070)

That's not what I'd call a real smart elevator.

I'd love it if somebody came up with a way for multiple cars to be able to share the same set of shaft/tracks and pass each other at designated points (or switch shafts). Instead of having, say, six shafts for six cars you should be able to double the number of cars (at least) in a tall building, given that if a car is heading upwards from floor 18 there should be no reason why another car couldn't use the shaft below, say, floor 16. Obviously there'd have to be serious work on collision avoidance (multiple redundancies), but I don't see why this shouldn't be possible.

And before somebody tries to patent that (assuming it's not already), consider this post prior art.

And while we're at it being able to switch to horizontal travel might be nice too (although the logistics of sorting out who gets to go where first might get tougher).

Re:Where's my turbolift? (1)

Politburo (640618) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492189)

I'd love it if somebody came up with a way for..

Well, it's already been come up with, thanks to the railroads. But this type of configuration simply isn't cost effective.

Re:Where's my turbolift? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14492191)

I guess you never played sim tower where I think you could cram up to SIX cars in a single shaft. Ahh, now those were the good ole days.

Re:Where's my turbolift? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492204)

This is only an issue in buildings with many floors. Which are built with elevators in them to begin with. It would [probably] be too difficult/costly to retrofit into very large buildings. However, if you were doing that, it would be useful to be able to have only two elevator shafts to handle more than two cars. You'd switch them from one track to the other at assorted points. It doesn't actually sound all that difficult to me...

Re:Where's my turbolift? (1)

jridley (9305) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492348)

There are systems where two cars were one on top of another and hooked together. Not nearly as good, but actually workable with current lift systems. I think these have been done for many years.

hopefully.... (1)

revery (456516) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492071)

Hopefully they aren't designed by the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation [wikipedia.org] , makers of Happy Vertical People Transporters with the latest flavor of AI, GPP (Genuine People Personalities).

From the Restaruant at the End of the Universe
"Not unnaturally, many elevators imbued with intelligence and precognition become terribly frustrated with the mindless business of going up and down, up and down, experimented briefly with the notion of going sideways, as sort of an existential protest, demanded participation in the decision making process and finally took to squatting in basements sulking."

Next thing you know, Starbucks will put Nutrimatic Drink Dispensers [wikipedia.org] in all their stores.

Good luck, Seattle.

Re:hopefully.... (1)

LouisZepher (643097) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492271)

I think Starbucks already does. The stuff they sell is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike coffee...

(And this is the third Adam's reference that I've seen so far in this thread. Glad to know I'm not the only one to immediately start this line of thinking after seeing the headline.)

Sounds like the Marriott in Times Square (2, Interesting)

everyplace (527571) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492077)

In the Times Square Marriott here in NYC, in the lobby each elevator has a keypad where you key in the floor you want to go to, and then it shows you on an LED display which elevator number you want to go to. It is actually kind-of confusing, because you type in one number and it gives you another, but after you clear that hurdle, it works great. You get in an elevator, it stops on your floor without further input, and continues to its next destination. I think about that elevator system a lot, despite only ever having used it twice.

The best & the brightest don't code for elevat (1)

notthepainter (759494) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492081)

I was coming back from lunch in the 15 story building I worked at and before I could press the button, two elevators opened in front of us. We stepped in the nearest one and hit the button for our floor and waited... and waited... and waited.

Then we noticed that the elevator across from us, with its open doors, had the white up arrow lit and we could see in the shiny walls that ours didn't. We crossed the hallway, got in and pressed our floor. The door immediatly closed and away we went.

I grumbled and my co-worker Randy chided me, "You don't think they hire people like us to code elevators, do you?"

Years later, I hope he is proved wrong!

Oh, it's you again. (3, Interesting)

krunoce (906444) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492127)

So this means you'll have to see the same people everyday in the elevator? That sucks. I enjoyed seeing the attractive women from the other floors every once in a while.

Good idea... but wrong building (1)

johndierks (784521) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492149)

I commute past this building, and it's only 18 stories tall! It seems like it would be best to premier the technology in a 40-60 story building where efficiency could be better improved by having more destinations.

What I've always wanted to do.... (1)

BenJeremy (181303) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492157)

As an embedded systems programmer, I've always wanted to write the elevator code to purposely bump down in priority any user who presses the button repeatedly.

Of course, as a backdoor, you'd use two shaves and a haircut and get top priority.

Interesting Idea, but it would need some work (1)

PPGMD (679725) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492167)

It would need work to make it seamless for the user, first the kiosks should be for visitors only. Second each employee would get a wireless device, or a RFID name badge (with privacy protector for off work hours) if it's a locked down elevator and people are only allowed to exit on one floor (I worked in a building like this). The device would have either a 10 key pad with a cheap monochrome LCD display, they could enter their desired floor or have a quick access button for their normal work floor.

Another thing I would consider is to have a thermal imager, or something similar to count the number of people to prevent people from entering a large amount of people for a single floor in hopes for a private car, of course I would have it set to only use it when a certain threshold is reached (ie 4 of more entries for the same floor within a couple of minutes of each other).

Social Psychology (4, Interesting)

tktk (540564) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492174)

In one of my social psychology classes, my professor told us that had been called in as a consultant to the college's elevator system. The elevator system in one building was extremely slow and it would take too much work to replace it.

Instead of messing with elevator, my prof used a bit of social psychology. He had mirrors installed next to the elevator on every floor. Apparently, the self-absorbed students and faculty looked at themselves in the mirrors while waiting for the elevator, and lost track of their waiting time. From what I remember, complaints about the slow elevators got reduced to about 1/2.

Take the stairs... (1)

binaryspiral (784263) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492175)

Smart elevators with greedy dumb riders... forget that. I'll take the stairs and shower on the tenth floor.

Oblig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14492219)

In Japan elevators outsmart you.

Neurotic? (1)

gmerideth (107286) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492228)

But can I earn some extra cash by providing counseling to neurotic elevators? What if they decide to experiment by going sideways for a while?

Big deal.... (1)

FirstNoel (113932) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492240)

All the major manufactures have a system like this, and most likely are already deployed in New York or LA.

This is not a new idea.

Estimates? (1)

tm2b (42473) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492282)

What I'd love is a read out telling you (1) how long your estimated time to arriving at your destination is, and (2) how long it would take to take the stairs.

There are many times when I would take the stairs if I knew it would be much faster, especially at conventions.

Cool feature... (1)

Hymer (856453) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492327)

...on some elevators there is a lock... the man with the key ride non-stop to his destination...

When elevators get smarter than people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14492356)

I once witnessed a grown man press both the up and the down button to call the elevator (we both only wanted to go down). When I asked why, he informed me that pressing both buttons would make the elevator come faster. Luckily the down elevator came first, but no amount of reasoning during our shared elevator ride helped him to see the light. This was bad enough, but it's hard to imagine the elevator rage caused by idiots who press the buttons for all floors in an attempt to speed up the process.

I worked in a building with a system like this (1)

C0vardeAn0nim0 (232451) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492360)

and you want to know my opinion ??? is a royal _PAIN IN THE ASS_

in some cases you'll end up using the stairs, as i did frequently.

the problem with these elevators are basicaly the uneven distribution of people among the several floors. sometimes in the building i worked, the pannel would tell me to take a certain cabin an i was the only passenger to my floor at the moment, but the same cabin was also assigned to a floor with an auditorium in the exact time dozens of people were going to a presentation of a new product. there was people enough to fill some 4 cabins waiting in the ground floor. of course, when the elevator stoped, everybody jumped in and i had to wait. of course, since i missed the first trip, i had to rebook it in the touchpannel.

now you ask: "but why the system doesn't calculate the number of people going to a floor so the cabin doesn't get overcrowded ?"

simple answer: many people come in _groups_. yes, groups. co-workes who meet at the lobby, car pooler who work on the same floor, you name it. and it's obvious, that as soon as the firts member of the group types the destination floor on the touchpannel and gets assigned a cabin, why would the others also type ? they wont, because the system doesn't know about groups, so if each member types the same floor on the pannel, they might end in diferent cabins, and no one wants it. so they all go in the cabin assigned to the first guy, wich ends in an overcrowded cabin.

pain in the ass, pure and simple. who cares if the actual trip is shorter ? i rather a longer trip, with several stops (but at least i'm moving) than a longer wait in the lobby. waiting is much more stressing than a longer trip.

Queueing algos (1)

dkoulomzin (320266) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492366)

I remember from undergraduate cs classes that algorithms like those for elevators are actually balancing 2 different variables: average wait-time and fairness (which essentially can be thought of as variance of wait-time). It seems this algorithm optimizes for average time, possibly at the expense of fairness. In a conventional elevator, I can easily make a fairly accurate guess about how long it will take the elevator to take me from where I am to where I want to go... and if I'm wrong, it means EVERYONE is slowed down. Its fair. The suggested system doesn't seem to make anything close to this strong a guarantee. "Average" wait-time is of course fairly uninteresting when actual wait-times can vary widely. If I need to get upstairs for some extremely important and time-sensitive reason (be it annual review or potty break) I don't want to wait an average of 30 seconds if waiting 10 minutes is a possibility. I'll take the predictable 45 second wait, thank you.

Doesn't work (1)

the_skywise (189793) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492369)

It's a great idea in concept, but in practice it doesn't quite work...

They had this system at Ameritech in Indianapolis many years ago (now SBC, now AT&T, but I digress...) which was being used for prototype testing (so Ameritech got a discount on their elevator service)

Instead of a touch panel they had number pad and LCD display but the functionality was the same.

Every morning there'd be a crowd of 20 people at Elevator A, 5 at Elevator B and 1 at Elevator C.

This led to users "hacking" the system by reentering in the same floor multiple times. This resulted in the system adding in more people to the elevator until you got an overflow and then another elevator would be assigned.

Say what? (1)

MasterC (70492) | more than 8 years ago | (#14492393)

The company began its U.S. operations in Lebanon in 1977...

How exactly does that work? Wouldn't it have been easier/more useful to start U.S. operations in the U.S.? ...not Lebanon?
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...